Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I travelled from Marrakech to Essaouira on the coast. It was about a four hour bus ride. I said goodbye to my Belgium friends and this local guy took me to a hotel.

Essaouira is a really beautiful city with many friendly people. The weather here is so much cooler as it is on the coast and the people seem to be very friendly. I booked into a really good hotel and I have a big double bed to myself.

I walked through the Medina and I had soup in a little Moroccan cafe with only locals. Very tasty and I like the way people smile at you all the time. I then went back to my hotel where I slept for twelve hours straight. For those of you back home, yes I still love sleeping.

The following morning I had breakfast in another small moroccan cafe and I enjoy very much eating with the locals. Its also so much nicer not to have tourists everywhere. I looked through the madina. I like this city very much as there isnt the same hard sell as in Marrakech. I also walked along the beach, which is very nice as well.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Paris to Morocco- Marrakech

This is my moroccan mate Amine from Casablanca who I first met when I arrived in Marrakech. He is a university student and is a really good person.

I always ate at a local cafe in Marrakech and I tried to get away from all the tourists. The guy in the middle is the chef and the older guy on the right was the waiter who could speak some english. He would always say welcome my friend how are you today.

Okay back to the beginning. My last two days in Paris were fantastic as William let me stay in his apartment again and I had these beautiful views of the eiffel tower. I always love France and I think apart from Melbourne and Buenos Aires, Paris is my favourite city. I have even started buying the local cheeses as I love these and even at Mehdis apartment he bought lots of cheese for me.

On the flight over to Morocco I sat next to a really lovely french family who were so friendly.
I found a cheap hotel in Marrakech and the first thing I noticed was the extreme heat. It is so so hot. It was 44c one day and it was just amazing. For some reason I have enjoyed the heat and the crowds.

I have found the people here to be really friendly and they are interested in finding out about me. Many people try to do tthis for money which is annoying but you also do get the genuine people. Already I have had a few offers of accomodation.

In the hotel I am staying in there has been a large group of french students and I have enjoyed talking to them. This guy Adrien does some excellent sketching and another student Benjamin is very musical. This guy Romain, is a really friendly guy who smiles all the time and he is interested in coming to Australia. So I hope my family is ready for another visitor in the coming years as he is such a good person. I like talking to him as he practises his english and he teaches me some french. The students are all really polite and its been great to meet them. I have been sleeping on the hotel roof or balcony as it is cheaper and the rooms get so so hot.

The ladies in the hotel always practise their english on me and I try out my french but even the french students dont understand my french so I am doing something wrong. A Moroccan guy named Bilal helped me to buy some more french music and his mother also offered me accomodation. Bilal is such a great guy. I also met Amine and Hasham who are locals and also university students.

I have enjoyed visiting the Souk and seeing the snake charmers and the Morokkan dancing. I love the orange juices they make in the big square and I have visited many little cafes outside of the tourist area where I have eaten with the moroccan people. The Moroccan food is beautiful and I love the tanger poullet and vegetable.

Marrakech is too touristic for me but it has a charm to it and I am chilling out a bit in the heat of the day. I have visited the gardens a few times and I love walking around the old town and through all the little lane ways. The drivers are maniacs and I have already nearly been knocked down sixteen times.

My last few days in Marrakech were fantastic and I met many great moroccan people as well as other travellers in the hotel I was staying in. My last night there a group of us went out for dinner and we walked around the square together listening to music.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bulle, Switzerland

Katrina gave me a lift to Bulle which is a great little town about 30kilometres from Lausanne.
Its funny but its always exciting when you travel to a new place that you dont know much about.
I walked around the town a bit and then went back to the train station.

My mate Jonas who lives in the town met me in the train station and straight away took me to a Belgium beer bar where we drank a few beers with his mates. It was nice beer and great to sit outside in the sun. Then we had a barbeque with his mates by a lake and we drank some aussie wine. It was a really nice place to have a barbeque and his friends are all great people. Also we kicked a football around for a while.

Later that night we went back to the Belgium bar where we had many different types of drinks. There was one drink where you set fire to it and then you can hold your glass upsidedown and it sticks to your hand. This is a photo of his house mate Alex with a glass.

The next day Jaqueline, Jonas' mother took me for a walk beside the river. I was really hungover and wearing sunglasses but it was very good fun the night before. The walk was great and so scenic and it cleared my head for me.

Later on she took me to a swiss restaurant to taste some Swiss food and it was really delicious. Since being in Switzerland and France I have enjoyed tasting all of the local foods.

I met Matthew, Laure and Alex, Jonas' housemates and theay all made me welcome. Alex has the best laugh ever and he is so easy going. Matt is a musician and he is really nice and friendly. Alex made a great rocolette and it was one of the best things I have tasted in my travels.

Jonas was so good to me while I was there and he really looked after me. It was great because I got to see Flurin my last night in Bulle as he had broken his thumb in Japan and has returned for an operation so it was cool to catch up with him before leaving.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lausanne, Chexbres

I travelled to Lausanne with Stefan and Liah and the train journey was very scenic. I always have to sit facing the way the train is travelling so I dont get travel sick. I have enjoyed watching the people on the trains as they often bring their dogs along for the journey. In Suisse the trains are so clean, maybe thats why they are so expensive. The train ride wasnt so long and before I knew it, I was in Lausanne.

When I arrived in Lausanne I looked around a little and then Mehdi and Chicco met up with me. They are really nice guys who stayed with me in Melbourne, Anyhow they took me on a local train up to where Mehdi lives in Chexbres. It was a stunning ride as you feel yourself going higher. I couldnt believe my eyes as the views were really amazing.

The views of Lake Lausanne are great and it is just so beautiful here. I think I might choose this as a place to live...From Mehdi's loungeroom the views are fantastic and it is just mind blowing. You can see the lake and all the Alps as well. They took me out to a small cafe where we had some coffee and a storm blew in and it was really mystic. I also met Katrina, Mehdis girlfriend who comes from Portugal and she is just lovely.

Later on Mehdi and Chicco took me into Lausanne and we walked around the old part of the city, which is very beautiful. The town has an old cathedral and many old buildings as well. It was very quiet for a Saturday night and we grabbed some pizza to eat. Then they took me to a concert and we saw William White playing. The band was great and we got back home to Mehdis quite late. We had a few cocktails and Im not sure what Medhi put into the drinks but they were great. We stayed up chatting until 3am in the morning.

Chicco and Mehdi were just the same as in Melbourne and Chicco was always clowning around. When I went to bed it was pouring with rain and it was nice to go to bed listening to the sound of rain. Mehdi is really good as you can have really interesting conversations with him. Chicco mucks around alot but you can tell he is a really sincere guy and also sensitive. Katrina has taken good care of me with meals andletting me stay and although she doesnt speak much english, you can tell that she is a really kind and friendly person.

I woke up quite early and its still hard to believe that the views of the lake and the alps are so stunning. We had an easy relaxing morning and then Mehdi drove us all in to buy some cheese for some fondue for tonights dinner. The town we visited was beautiful and also the views were very stunning.

Then we drove back into Lausanne and we met up with Christian, a friend I had met in Darwin and lives in Zurich. He is a really great guy and we went for beers in a pub. We walked around town for a while and later on Christian came back to Mehdis for dinner, We had fondue. Before we had dinner we walked around the town of Chexbres and even though it was a small town it was breathe taking. The views from the loungeroom are of the mountains, lake and also the vineyards that sorround Mehdi and Katrinas apartment.

Medhi, Katrina, Chicco and myself all went to the Olympic museum as it was a cloudy and rainy day. It was really good as it has a history of sport and its a great place to walk around. Also we took the road along the lake which was very scenic.

This is us all outside the museum. It actually had some information about the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne which was great. It was a cool museum as usually I am the first to get bored in museums but this museum told you lots of information about the Olympic Games and the different types of sports. Later on we went to a restaurant and had icecreams. The best in the world...

Mehdi and Kat took me for a beautiful drive to Montreux, which was having a big Jazz festival. It had such old biuildings and I was lucky enough to see a young Australian band playing. It was a really nice day as we walked around eating icecream and whats even better is that the sun has appeared again. Below is a photo of the Aussie band playing.

In Montreux they had pictures up of all the rock and jazz stars who have visited the festival.
Below are photos of Bob Dylan, B.B. King and also Queen as well. Also there is a photo of me with a statue of Freddy Mercury from Queen. We had a really nice day in Montreux and it is a very beautiful town.

My last day in Chexbres and Chicco showed me around. He took me to meet his lovely family and to also meet his girlfriend. Audrey is so friendly and a really warm person. She made me feel very comfortable and I enjoyed meeting her. This is Chicco with his mother.

I also liked the villages that we drove through as it nice to see a bit more of Switzerland. The photo of me is taken in the fields near Chicco's family house. He just clicked at the right time.

This is Chiccos car. Nice car and it was great to drive along in this except for when he was speeding around the bends. It was good fun though and I loved all the scenic views from the car.

Chicco also took me to the place where he is a tattoo artist and you just need to ask and you only
have to ask to see the tattoo he designed for me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Basel, Switzerland

It was so good to be back in Switzerland and it was like returning home to see old friends. Tamara and Stefan I travelled with in Argentina in 2003 and Kevin I travelled with in Turkey in 2000. They hae all visited me in Melbourne and now it was catch up time in Basel. When I saw them it was with great happiness as I know that they are all warm and sincere friends.

Basel is an amazing city and I loved every moment of it. We had many laughs together and they were all so cool how they took time to show me about. We talked about our travels together and our first meetings. Swiss people seem to have thie gentleness about them and they are so so polite. I like this very much. Stefan was really good to me and he spent so much time with me as he is on holidays. Thanks so much for this Stefan.

This is Tamara and myself having fun in a fountain after getting a bit soaked. We had just seen Kevin off as he was travelling to Austria. I felt like a little child in the water as it was such a hot day and it was so nice to cool down. I also liked the way that Tamara is such a caring person. She is really sensitive and I could talk to her for hours and also talk about many things.

We shared some good moments together drinking beers and this is where Kevin dashed off leaving me to pay the bill.....only kidding Kevin as it was Stefan who paid. It was so good of Kevin to travel to Basel to see me and to meet Stefan and Tamara. Its amazing as now I have met Kevin in Turkey, Switzerland and Australia and we have kept in touch for eight years. He makes me laugh a lot as he is travelling through Europe and his plans kept changing. I think maybe he changed his itinerary more than me.

Kevin's backpack weighed a tonne and Im not kidding I think he has a kangaroo stored away in it. I am travelling for six months and he is only travelling for three weeks and his backpack weighs heaps more than mine.

The trams in Basel are great and make me feel a little homesick for Melbourne. Not really but I liked travelling on them heaps. They are everywhere and you have to watch where you are walking. I caught many trams with Stefan and Tamara during my visit to Basel.

My first day in Basel and Kevin came in to see us. He drove all the way from Schmitten and it was so cool to see him again. Tamara's apartment is so colourful and of course Stefans apartment is like a second home to me now. Here we are on one of the many bridges in Basel. Stefan really made me welcome and it was great to talk to him about his music. I liked the way Stefan and Tamara just met Kevin for the first time and they all chatted as though they wer long lost friends.

Kevin loves his football team. I cant understand why as european football is nowhere as good as aussie rules football in Melbourne. I did like his car though, and it was great that he drove us up to a look out to see the night lights of the city. It was cold and windy at the lookout and myself and Tamara laughed as we were both freezing. I was also a bit scared of the heights but Kevin forced me to go up.....hahahaha only kidding.

The trams are amazing but I have to be so careful as in europe I am always looking in the wrong direction. Back in Grenoble I was almost hit by a tram. The tram driver gave me a big smile as she passed by as she knew I was taking photographs.

I walked around the city of Basel with Kevin, Tamara and Stefan and they showed me many interesting places. Its such a beautiful city and I would say it has to be one of my favourite cities in the world. It seems to be a really yound city although the area I stayed in, outside of the city centre had many older residents.

The buildings are so old and some are really colourful. I walked around with Stefan on my second day in Basel and I saw many great places in the old part of town. Then we met up with Tamara and we went back to her apartment and we had a beautiful Thai Green Curry. It was so great. Later on Stefan and myself caught the late bus and tram back to his apartment.

Tamara and Stefan you have to promise me that you will come back to melbourne as my family loved you when you were there last. The same applies to you Kevin as I think you spent much longer with me in Melbourne last time.

Tamara and myself on the steps in the old part of the city. It was fun to catch up and I'm sure we will catch up again, maybe in Paris. Pokwa pa (why not) We had many good talks while I was in Basel and she has promised to visit me in Melbourne. I'm holdinf you to that promise Tamara.

How great do the old buildings look. I loved the style of buildings that I have seen in both Basel Basel and Strasbourg as well. This used to be a part of the old city wall of Basel. Its close to the entrance of St. Alban. I loved this building and it was right near the Rhine river.

This is my favourite photo as it shows my three good swiss friends meetings. It would have been even better if I had been in the photo, only joking. The photo below shows Stefan, Tamara and Kevin with the Swiss cow in the city. I myself think a kangaroo would look much better but the cow is okay I guess.